Saturday, September 27, 2014

Apple: iPhone 6 Encryption Codes Would Take NSA Years to Break

Posted By on Sat, Sep 27, 2014 at 11:07 AM

While a media uproar swirls around the so-called iPhone 6 "bendgate," where some users of the new smartphone are saying their devices are bending, Consumer Reports says it has conducted stress tests on the new iPhone 6 and it's "not as bendy as believed."

"All the phones we tested showed themselves to be pretty tough," concludes CR

But a much more important development surfaced in this morning's New York Times. It turns out that the new iPhone 6 encrypts emails, photos and contacts "based on a complex mathematical algorithm" that uses a code created by, and unique to, each phone's user. Simply put, the Times says that if Apple is ordered by the National Security Agency to turn over the contents of an iPhone 6, "it will turn over gibberish with a note saying that to decode the phone's emails, contacts and photos, investigators will have to break the code or get the code from the phone's user."

And the Times reports that it "could take more than five-and-a-half years to try all combinations" to break the code (but no one is certain how long it could take the NSA to break any code).

Needless to say, the U.S. government isn't thrilled with the iPhone 6.

"Officials inside the intelligence agencies, while letting the FBI make the public protests, say they fear the company’s move is the first of several new technologies that are clearly designed to defeat not only the NSA, but also any court orders to turn over information to intelligence agencies," write David Sanger and Brian Chen of the Times. They liken Apple’s move to the early days of Swiss banking, when secret accounts were set up precisely to allow national laws to be evaded.

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